FREE Reading Activities for Picture Books

Are you prepping for Read Across America Day? Be sure to check out and download my free reading activities to pair with picture books for K-1!

Free picture book activities for K - 1st

Read Across America week is such a fun time to make use of your favorite children’s titles! Over the years, I have collected some absolute favorites and I would like to share them with you. Not only would I like to share the titles and activities, but some awesome FREEBIES you can use with your students! Keep reading to see some of my favorite stories.

Fun Ways To Tie Stories & Reading Activities Together

Reading a story out loud is always fun, but I love adding an extra element of surprise to engage little readers.

Predicting & Summarizing Activities for Potato Pants

I love using a good “mystery” to engage students in a lesson. It captures their interest and easily gains their attention. Moreover, it makes them want to know more! I like to use Potato Pants by Laurie Keller to invite mystery into our lessons and reading activities. Check out how I use these free printables for Potato Pants in my lessons to get students predicting and summarizing.

Printable activities to introduce story elements to PreK - 2nd using Eraser by Anna Kang

Introducing Story Elements to PreK – 2nd with Eraser Activities

Eraser by Anna Kang tells the story of the main character by the same name who struggles with her role as a school supply. While other tools seem to be helpful, she can’t help but feel like she’s pointless and only used for mistakes. It takes running into some complimentary first drafts to realize how important mistakes actually are! This story is perfect for discussing fitting in, as well as several story elements.

If you’ll be using this story in your classroom, then check out my Eraser activities! This post not only includes a video read-aloud for Eraser by Anna Kang, but also several free printables to use right alongside the book. These activities focus on introducing three story elements:

  • theme, 
  • figurative language, 
  • and character analysis. 

Rhyming Activities & More for Rhyming Dust Bunnies

I was introduced to Rhyming Dust Bunnies when I taught first grade ages ago. A parent was a book-buyer for a local library and she read it aloud to my class. The story was so simple, but the kids were captivated. Why? Because it’s funny! Cute little kid humor is always key to grabbing a child’s interest before an activity.

Take a peek at how I use this story and download my FREE RHYMING DUST BUNNIES ACTIVITIES.

Printable Literacy Activities to Pair With Sounds Like School Spirit

Sounds Like School Spirit by Meg Fleming is a fantastic story to use all year long. The story is told in rhyme, so it’s an excellent way to incorporate some phonological awareness right off the bat! Students can listen for the rhyming words and then use these picture cards alongside the book afterward.

Learn how I use the story to practice ABCs, vocabulary, and more by reading my blog post, SOUNDS LIKE SCHOOL SPIRIT BACK TO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES.

K-5 Activities for The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick

If you love The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors or The Day the Crayons Quit, you will LOVE The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick by Drew Daywalt! 

This story – told entirely in diary entries – tells the tale of two (kind of) friends, Huggie and Stick. They journey across the globe after falling out of their owner’s backpack. Together, they endure misadventure after misadventure, until ultimately returning to their owner.

My Epic Adventure of Huggie and Stick Activities blog post shares some pretty epic activities to use in your K-5 classroom, including:

  • Point of View
  • Retelling
  • Character Traits
  • Printable Backpack Craft
  • Storytelling
  • Directed Drawing
Preschool skills activities to use with the children's book, Big Smelly Bear.

Preschool Skills Activities for Big Smelly Bear

There are so many different ways to use the Big Smelly Bear video read-aloud and activities! 

Your children or students will love watching the story come to life, then completing several thematic activities. Since I used these at home with my own children (preschoolers), most of these activities are geared toward the 6-and-under crowd. However, there are a few things you could use in first and second grade.

Find these activities and more by reading my Big Smelly Bear Activities Post.

The Story Can Be Used At School or At Home

Seriously, my kids have made me read this story night after night after night. Basically, it tells your kiddos that if they DON’T BLINK, then they don’t have to go to bed. But, if they blink, then you turn the page and as soon as you get to the end of the book, the story is over and it’s BEDTIME!

I came up with some super fun activities that you can use with your kids for FREE! Most of them simply require a printer and some markers or crayons. Just head over to my Don’t Blink Activities Page for a ton of activity ideas.

Problem Solving Activities & More

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex is a wonderful addition to your Read Across America Week. This book is HILARIOUS and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for children of all ages. We use these definitions to guide the lesson and refer to them while reading the story. 

I also provide a problem and solution recording sheet, so that students can easily track their learning during or after the lesson.

Grab these ideas and FREEBIES from my Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors post!

Math & Art Activities for The Very Very Very Long Dog

Finally, grab a set of free The Very Very Very Long Dog activities! This post not only includes a video read-aloud, but also several free printables to use right alongside the book. You can use these ideas and activities for distance learning with preschoolers, kindergarteners, first graders, or second graders!

Check out all of the free printables and activity ideas by heading over to The Very, Very, Very Long Dog Post. The activities are perfect for discussing problem and solution!

The ultimate activity pack to celebrate reading!

Celebrate Reading Activities

If you love reading as much as I do, you will LOVE this Celebrate Reading Activity Pack that includes bookmarks, book reviews, book reports and book activities. These non-traditional and high interest activities will help your students reflect about their reading, encourage others to check out their favorite books, and share their love for reading with their friends and classmates!

They are the perfect addition to your writing center or writer’s workshop, small group activities, or literacy centers. They are hands-on, fun, and engaging. They’re also extremely low prep – most are just print and go!


Abby is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher who channels her passion for education into creating engaging activities and resources for the kindergarten and first grade classroom. When not dreaming up or working on her next project, you’ll find her enjoying her family – most likely in her minivan on the way to a soccer field.


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Hi, I'm Abby

Hi, I’m Abby! Thanks for stopping by. I love supporting kindergarten and first grade teachers with engaging, skill-based activities that are easy to use in their classrooms. Let me help you be the best teacher you can be!
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